Thursday, June 19, 2008

You're ready to ride!

Well, almost...there are still some rules of engagement to consider.
  • Trailering - be considerate of your horse and other drivers. Take corners smoothly, and don't accelerate until the trailer is straight behind you. Accelerating through a turn is like playing 'Crack the whip' with your horses. They can lose their balance and slip or fall. Give yourself extra time to stop. hitting the brakes suddenly can also throw your horse off balance. Don't follow too closely, and give other drivers plenty of notice if you change lanes. For practice, put a bucket of water in your trailer, and drive your usual route. If you don't spill any water, you are doing it right. Or attend one of the wonderful trailing clinics TROT and other horse organizations put on. It will be an eye opener!

  • Parking - Again, be considerate. Give yourself room to tie your horses, and drive away at the end of the ride. Give everyone else the same consideration. There is nothing worse than getting to a great trail location to find out someone with their big rig has parked across the parking lot blocking everyone else from getting in (or out!).

  • Trash Patrol - Always pick up your trash, left over hay, manure, everything! Many areas are sensitive environments, and fellow park users are certainly sensitive to road apples left in parking lots.

  • Be an Ambassador - If you are in a public park, someone will come up to admire your horse. Take a moment to talk to them, let them pet your horse if it is ok. Take the opportunity to teach them a bit about horses, and make it a positive experience. Everyday we lose more places to ride. It doesn't take much for parks to decide they don't want horses there any more.

  • Never let them ride - Kids always ask, it's not a good idea. The liability issues boggle the mind. Let them know about a local barn with lessons instead.

Lets hit the trails!

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